They’re ever so adorable and you just have to have one. But getting a puppy isn’t just fun and cuteness.
Puppy ownership requires a lot of hard work and dedication. This guide and the website have been prepared to educate you in every aspect of getting a puppy, from purchasing your pup to general care and training. Many people purchase a puppy on impulse, only to find out how much time and effort they require.
Essentially, puppies are as much work as a newborn baby. If you’re not prepared and committed to put in this work or if you don’t have the time but you still want a dog, adult dogs make wonderful companions. They are usually already house broken and have some basic training. Plus a one year old dog is much easier to deal with than a puppy. A puppy might be cute and sweet, but an older dog has already gone through the crazy puppy stage and will physically be more mature. This means you won’t have to get up in the middle of the night to let him out. And don’t worry that you won’t be able to bond as well with an older dog. Dogs are affectionate creatures and will bond just as well with their people as a puppy will.
Consider your lifestyle carefully and read through our guides and articles before making a commitment to a puppy.
First and most importantly, DO NOT GET YOUR PUPPY FROM A PET STORE. Not ever.
The Truth About the Doggie in the Window
Yes, we understand the pups in that store window are ever so adorable. They look so sad locked up in that cage – their eyes practically beg you to take them home. But do not get your puppy from a pet store. The pet stores are counting on the puppies pulling at your heart-strings so that you make an impulse buy. But their puppies come from puppy mills (see our article on puppy mills for more information).
Puppy mills are commercial breeders who have little regard for the health and well-being of the animals themselves. They are only concerned with making the largest profit possible. Animals are kept in substandard conditions and face incredible abuse and neglect. And far too often the puppies are taken from their mothers too soon. The end result is pups that have health, behavior and genetic problems.
The bottom line is that no self-respecting, professional, qualified breeder would ever turn their puppies over to a pet store to be sold. Quality breeders want to keep tabs on the type of home their puppies are going to. A pet store does not care about matching the right puppy with the right home. Their bottom line is they just want to make a sale.
Beware of Backyard Breeders
Secondly, beware of backyard breeders. Generally speaking, these are the ones who place ads for pups in your local paper. Backyard breeders may seem okay, but more often than not, they have simply taken two dogs and thrown them together without regard for health issues and genetics. Possibly, these pups are the result of an accidental pregnancy where a female has gone into heat, escaped and mated with a dog of unknown origin. Or it could be a person who thinks their beautiful dog would have beautiful puppies and thinks it would be a good idea to breed her. Very rarely do backyard breeders have the qualifications to breed quality puppies.
Say No to Flea Markets Too
Also on the No Go list are places such as flea markets or any other temporary type market, show, fair or even stands at the side of the road (believe it or not, it actually happens!) The puppies sold in such places are often of unknown origin which potentially means dogs with health problems, diseases and temperament issues. And again, they are either from a backyard breeder or worse, a puppy mill.
Getting a puppy from one of these places may result in a puppy with health problems, diseases, genetic problems and temperament issues. Temperament issues make training difficult and produce unwanted behaviors such as aggression. The other issues will cost you money in medication and vet bills. Not to mention shortened life expectancy, resulting in heartache and disappointment. Nothing is worse than becoming attached to a puppy and then having it die unexpectedly or having to put it down.
So before we discuss just where you should get your puppy, you should determine whether you are ready for a puppy.
Read on >> Are You Ready for a Puppy?